Virgin Media fast-tracks careers for apprentices

17th February 2015

  • 107 recruits promoted at annual apprentice graduation ceremony
  • Almost 1,000 people already benefitted from nationally-recognised scheme
  • Another 1,000 young apprentices needed in next five years
  • Apprenticeships a valid career choice with 40 per cent1 of university graduates struggling to find jobs

Virgin Media has promoted 107 talented young individuals from its apprenticeship programme as part of its ongoing commitment to support the next generation of workers in the UK. The former apprentices will be employed as installation, service or network engineers, managers and planners.

As Virgin Media begins the largest private investment in the UK’s internet infrastructure in more than a decade, a further 1,000 apprenticeship roles will be created over the next five years.

Virgin Media, with support from parent company Liberty Global plc, is extending its unrivalled fibre-rich network to approximately four million additional premises by 2020. The £3 billion of additional private investment will provide a multi-billion pound boost to the national economy, allowing more consumers and businesses to benefit from ultrafast broadband.

With nearly 40 per cent of university graduates still looking for work six months after graduation and with one quarter still unemployed after a year1, apprenticeships are a valuable alternative to traditional further education. Research from the Office for National Statistics has revealed that 27 per cent of university graduates earned less than the wage enjoyed by apprentices in 20142.

Chris Starling, Head of Apprenticeships at Virgin Media, comments: “Our apprenticeship programme has gone from strength to strength, with more applicants per place every year. Our vocational courses provide apprentices with valuable insights into business and the skills they need to fast track their careers.”

Steve Dabbs, 25, a Virgin Media engineer based in Birmingham is an example of the success apprentices can achieve. Steve, who has represented Virgin Media’s apprenticeships scheme at the Houses of Parliament, was promoted to become a network planner and named Intermediate Apprentice of the Year 2014 by the Institute of Telecommunications Professionals.

Talking about his experience, Steve said: “My apprenticeship kick-started my career and gave me skills I’d never have learned at university. The course has taken me all the way to the Houses of Parliament and beyond. In such a competitive jobs market I recommend apprenticeships to anyone who will listen.” 

The paid courses, which vary between one and two years in length, focus on delivering award-winning customer service in addition to providing apprentices with a wide range of digital and business skills.

Maurice Daw, Chief People Officer at Virgin Media, added: “It was an absolute pleasure to personally congratulate this year’s apprentices. It’s great to see young people equipped with the expertise they need to progress in their career.”

Since launching its apprenticeship programme in 2008, Virgin Media has helped almost 1,000 current and graduate apprentices and has been recognised as a top employer by the Government’s National Apprenticeship Service. Virgin Media was also one of the first companies to support the Government’s traineeship initiative, with the first trainees having since undertaken Intermediate Apprenticeships at the company.

Virgin Media will begin recruitment for its 2015 apprenticeship intake during National Apprentice Week in March.

Further details can be found at

Notes to editors


1. Research from 2014
2. Research from Office for National Statistics 2015

About Virgin Media Apprentices

Virgin Media Apprenticeships by numbers:

  • Almost 1,000 apprentices have benefitted from the scheme since 2008
  • 107 apprentices graduated in 2015; 50 graduated in the scheme’s first year
  • 3 levels of apprenticeships: Intermediate, Advanced and Higher
  • 5 types - Installation and Service, Network Engineer, Network Planning, Management, and Data Services
  • £12,500 starting salary for Intermediate apprentices
  • £17,000 starting salary for Advanced and Higher apprentices

About Virgin Media

Virgin Media offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline.

The company’s dedicated, ultrafast network delivers the fastest widely available broadband speeds to homes and businesses. And we’re expanding this through our £3bn Project Lightning programme, which will reach 17 million premises.

Our interactive TV service brings live programmes, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games in a set-top box, as well as on-the-go for tablets and smartphones.

We launched the world’s first virtual mobile network, offering fantastic value and services to customers. We are also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland.

Through Virgin Media Business we support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds and tailor-made services.

Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 27 million customers across 14 countries.